Colorado and Vail Release Preliminary Visit Numbers

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SAM Magazine--January 14, 2014--Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced today that its 21 member resorts reported an increase in skier visitation for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season. Skier visits at CSCUSA resorts were up by 22 percent during the first period of the 2013/14 season, defined this year as opening day of the season (October 13, 2013) through December 31, 2013, compared to the same period of the prior year. Significantly, this season’s first period skier visits also exceeded the five-year first period average by approximately 6.7 percent.

Occupancy at Colorado mountain resort lodging properties got a boost from early season skiers. CSCUSA, in partnership with DestiMetrics, reported certain Colorado lodging figures for the beginning of the 2013/14 ski season. Occupancy at Colorado resort lodging properties increased 11.6 percent during the October through December period of the 2013/14 ski season compared to the same time last season. Additionally, the booking pace for January and February 2014 was ahead of last year’s pace by 1.8 percent for the same time period, as of December 31, 2013.

Early season snow across much of the state allowed several resorts to open early and open more terrain and lifts than is typically available in the beginning of the season. The heavy snow helped get the word out about ski conditions in Colorado and drove visitation around the holidays.

At Vail Resorts (VR), which is not included in the CSCUSA numbers, early season visits across VR's eight mountain resorts were down 0.7% compared to the same period last year. The period this year goes from opening to January 5, while last year's was from opening to January 6--all numbers were adjusted as if Canyons was owned in both periods. Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up 3.9%. Reflecting the slow start in California, if only VR's Colorado and Utah resorts were counted, lift ticket revenue was up 11.7%. Ancillary spending saw increases of 4.5% in ski school revenue, 2.3% in dining and 2.1% in retail/rental compared to the same period last year.